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E3 2017: Indie Game Showcase, Part Two
Post by KostaAndreadis @ 05:30pm 19/06/17 | Comments
Part Two of a Two-Part Special, where we bring you our picks of the most impressive Indie Games from E3 2017.

In the past few years we have seen the rise of great looking indie games that have impressed thanks to their incredible art, intriguing premises, old-school presentation, and impressive gameplay. E3 2017 featured so much great stuff that we’ve decided to share this year’s most impressive indies, and spread them out over two super-sized spotlights.

Continuing on from Part One of our Indie Showcase.

Let’s begin.

Absolver, from indie developer Sloclap and publisher Devolver Digital, is an online melee-combat game due for release in a couple of months for PC and PlayStation 4. August 29 to be exact. In terms of comparisons one might look to Ubisoft’s For Honor from earlier this year, but with a focus on different martial-arts styles instead of Vikings and Samurai. Coupled with a great art style and impressive animation Absolver is set to provide players with an in-depth melee combat experience, one where customisation and a card system will determine both fighting-styles and moves available and a world where single-player, co-operative, and competitive all meet.

A 2D cinematic combat-adventure about loss and vengeance, Unto The End puts players in a world where they awake in the wilderness after a terrible attack. With your family killed, and you left for dead, vengeance is all that matters as you run, climb, claw, and fight your way to get back at the creature that stole everything from you. It’s a fascinating looking game, and one that reminds us a little bit of The Banner Sage. Not in mechanics, but in how it evokes a sense of desperation through minimal visuals and brutality. Unto the End is currently in development for PlayStation 4.

On the opposite side of the spectrum we have the adorable, Ooblets. A game that you’ll immediately be able to tell is for you based on the trailer alone. If you can survive the overload of cuteness, you’ll find that below the bright and colourful surface lies a deep and rich experience that blends Harvest Moon meets Pokémon meets Animal Crossing style mechanics into something new. Ooblets is currently in development with an expected release date somewhere in 2018 for Xbox One and PC.

If you’ve seen of the early-20th century animated stylings of Cuphead before then you’ll probably be getting a little tired of seeing it year-in, year-out, and not being able to play it. And for those that have been keeping an eye on Studio MDHR’s platformer since it made its debut in 2014, you’ll be pleased to know that it looks as amazing as ever. But now, with an added launch date. Yeah, it looks like the wait will have been worth it when Cuphead finally launches for PC and Xbox One on September 29. Why so long? Well, the small development team has slowly over the past few years expanded the scope of the game from a simple boss-rush style affair to a proper platformer with an overworld and traditional stages.

Formerly Secret Legend comes another Zelda-inspired adventure called Tunic, set in an isometric and beautiful landscape where you take on the role of a cute fox. Due for release sometime in 2018, Tunic certainly looks to have nailed the exploration and combat elements one might associate with classic 2D-era Zelda. But, it’s hard to tell how well it might differentiate itself outside of its fantastic look. But, we’re hopeful, and even if it turns out to be a simple and charming adventure game there’s still a lot to look forward to.

When developer Phoenix Labs began working on Dauntless its aim was to take the action meets hunting elements of the popular Monster Hunter series and inject them into a PC game that would appeal to a bigger (read: Western) audience. But even though it looks like Capcom had the same idea this year with the announcement of Monster Hunter: World, Dauntless still looks impressive. And doesn’t seem to have lost any of its appeal. Unlike the Monster Hunter series which traditionally have been single-player affairs Dauntless is set to offer a shared-world online setup like Destiny or Warframe. And best of all, it’ll be free-to-play. That is of course after the paid-for alpha and beta tests later this year.

We’re not sure if there has been a 2D adventure with traditional pinball-type mechanics and physics before, but even if there has Yoku’s Island Express still looks refreshing. Thanks largely in part to an art-style that feels inviting, and a sense of character and personality that comes across in spades, the pinball-stuff looks all the more fun. Physics based momentum in a 2D game is something that may not be easy to make work, but when done well can be what elevates a game from good to great. So, if the pinball-stuff here works as well as it looks then Yoku’s Island Express could one to keep an eye on.

Matterfall comes from Housemarque, the studio behind the excellent Resogun. In motion, the similarities between the two games can be seen almost immediately as Matterfall’s visual style is just as busy. And beautiful. Fast arcade-action mixed with impressive special effects, Matterfall may not have something brand-new to offer players like a few of the other games we’ve highlighted but that’s not a bad thing. Think Mega Man X goes cyber and you’re on the right track. Development has just about wrapped up too, with Matterfall all set to launch August 15 for PlayStation 4.

As one of the only stand-out indie games from E3 that will also be getting a Nintendo Switch release alongside the usual PlayStation 4, Xbox One, and PC crowd, Indivisible gets bonus points for looking great and being something that will be playable on Nintendo’s stunning handheld. From the developers behind the hit Skullgirls, Indivisible looks to take great anime-style visuals into the realm of the 2D action-RPG. One of the cool features is the ability to control an entire party of characters at once, with simple button combinations adding a fighting game flair to traditional party combat mechanics.

Closing out our Indie Game Showcase is another title that we’ve seen turn up more than a few times before, Tacoma from Gone Home developer Fullbright. The sci-fi mystery/adventure was originally expected to be released last year, with the developer taking the extra time to revamp quite a large slice of it based on early testing and feedback. Which, can only bode well for what looks to be quite the intriguing project, with some describing Tacoma as the gaming equivalent of investigating a multi-layered story. And now, with a right-around-the-corner release date of August 2 for PC and Xbox One, the wait is almost over.

Outside of Microsoft, the indie presence for Nintendo and Sony felt more than a little underwhelming this year. Which was a shame, and explains why a lot of our showcase leans heavily towards PC and Xbox One. Not that there isn’t great indie stuff coming to both the Nintendo Switch and PlayStation 4, it’s just that both Sony and Nintendo instead chose to focus on bigger titles at this year’s event. But even so, there was so much great content that we had to split our showcase into two parts. Once again proving that the indie scene is strong, and always, full of great stuff on the horizon.